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Searching for Chemistry Images

Most readers know that next year (2011) has been designated by the United Nations as the International Year of Chemistry. Less familiar, but no less important, is that last year was the similarly designated International Year of Astronomy.

I happened upon a Web site (from the Bad Astronomy blog, no less) depicting the photogenic side of astronomy. The images are truly spectacular. They portray both the awesome beauty of our universe as well as the deeply satisfying and irresistible yearning for a scientific understanding of the cosmos.

Here’s the problem. Stunning images of chemistry are harder to find, probably because test tubes and flasks just aren’t as gorgeous as pulsars and sunspots. But I’m determined not to let the astronomers outdo us, so I’m on the lookout for the top ten images of chemistry. Send me your suggestions, and I’ll reveal the winners next year as we celebrate the wonders of molecules.

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Periodic Tabloid is an ongoing record of the activities of the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s staff and scholars, whose work tells the story of chemistry over the centuries up to modern times. Stay tuned for behind-the-scenes coverage of our events, exclusive supplemental materials to our publications, analysis of pressing contemporary scientific issues, and much more.